Take Council In Your Words

, , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(I work as a receptionist in Melbourne for a company with multiple branches, one of which subcontracts to a [Nationwide Telecommunications Company] upgrade which is rather unpopular, meaning I’ve dealt with a fair few disgruntled callers, but this one really takes the cake. An upset woman calls up demanding to speak to a manager of our telecommunications branch, demanding that a piece of equipment just outside her home be replaced or upgraded because it’s not been done properly. Our staff have spray-painted a big cross on it as we can’t proceed with the upgrade due to the equipment being unsuitable or damaged. Unfortunately, we have no control over the equipment, as it’s previously installed by [Telecommunications Distributor] and is outside of our scope of work and is the property of [Distributor], but the woman is refusing to listen to me and demanding to speak to a manager. Technically speaking, she is not our customer, as our customer is [Distributor] and not the end user.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but the best thing I can do for you is forward you to the [Distributor] faults line to handle…”

Woman: *snappily* “Well, I’m not even their customer; I’m the customer of [Telecommunications Provider], so I want to talk to your mob, instead.”

Me: “Hang on. Have you spoken to [Provider] about your concerns about this yet?”

Woman: “No, but your mob are in the area doing work on the equipment, so you can repair and replace it while you’re there. My concern is that your mob won’t do the work which means I’ll be unable to use phones and Internet when [Nationwide Telecommunications] upgrade is complete, meaning I’ll be left without Internet or phone lines.”

Me: “Well, technically, that’s not accurate, since wireless options exist, as well. Anyway, we still aren’t involved and you’ll need to speak with—”

Woman: *cutting me off* “Well, don’t take this personally, but I feel like your mob just aren’t going to do the work because it’s in the ‘too hard’ basket, and then you’ll be gone, and I’ll be stuck!”

Me: “I understand, but—”

Woman: “So, let me speak to a manager already!”

Me: *sighing inwardly* “Again, unfortunately, our customer is [Distributor], meaning you’d need to speak with them about any issues you may have. We have no control over what may exist or not; we’re just in the area doing upgrades.”

Woman: “In that case, I want to talk to your manager as your staff have defaced my property!”

(I’m a bit perplexed; our staff are trained to not do any sort of damage to private property. It’s also important to note here that in Australia, anything past a dwelling’s driveway, such as the pavement and the nature strip, belong to the local council, and not the individual homeowner.)

Me: “Hang on. I thought you said that the markings were on the pavement.”

Woman: “Yes! It’s on the pavement and the equipment; they’ve defaced my nature strip!”

Me: *deadpan voice* “Technically, that doesn’t belong to you. That belongs to the council.”

(Pause.)

Woman: “You know an awful lot for a receptionist. Fine, I’ll call the council, and call [Distributor] and the ombudsman to sort this out!”

Me: “That’s fine. You have a nice day, then.”

(I hung up the phone on her at that point. I honestly don’t know what she expected the company I work for to do, especially when I kept telling her she had to contact [Distributor] to sort it out, as we had no control over it!)

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Aisle Be Leaving Now

, , , , | Friendly | September 12, 2019

(Flying on short notice one trip leaves my young daughter and me seated separately; I am in an aisle seat in one row and she is one row back on the opposite side in the center seat. My daughter gets airsick. After I inquire about changing seats to be together, the flight attendant says to wait until boarding is complete and then ask the occupants. A businessman sits down in the aisle seat next to my daughter.)

Me: “Sir, would you mind changing your aisle seat for my aisle seat so I can sit next to my daughter?”

Businessman: “NO! I requested this seat and if you can’t manage to plan your trip to be seated together, then that’s your problem.”

Me: *rather taken aback at his obvious attack at such a simple request* “Okay.”

(I get up and collect three “barf bags” from my seat pocket and those next to me, and I stand in the aisle next to the businessman and reach over him to hand said bags to my daughter.) 

Me: “Here you go, honey. Use these on take-off; I’m sure this ‘gentleman’ will help.”

(Then, I smiled sweetly at said businessman and went back to my seat. I’ve never seen someone change his mind about a seat change so fast. The flight attendant got a good laugh out of it, too!)

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Not The Photo Finish You Were Expecting

, , , , | Right | September 12, 2019

(The membership-based shopping warehouse where I work does not have a photo center, but does receive photos that were ordered online. I am responsible for the photos as they arrive — organizing a list of photos that have arrived with phone numbers and names, finding a home for them, organizing them alphabetically by last name, calling the customers when the orders come in, etc. Just before Valentine’s Day, one woman makes an order for a photo, but doesn’t come in to collect it. In early March, one of my coworkers calls the woman and leaves a message.)

Coworker: “[Customer #1], my name is [Coworker], calling from [Store]. Your photos have arrived and will be waiting at the service desk.”

(A few weeks later, in late March, I call her again and leave an almost identical message on her machine. I call again after a few more weeks and finally reach her. It’s now May 1st.)

Me: “My name is [My Name], from [Store]. I’m calling for [Customer #1] about some photos we have been holding for you. If you still want them, I have them at the service desk. Or I can destroy them for you, since they are unpaid.”

Customer: “Well, what are they? It’s been so long I don’t even remember what I ordered.”

Me: “I honestly don’t know, ma’am. I didn’t open the package to look.”

Customer: “Oh, okay. I’ll be there to pick them up.”

Me: “Thank you, ma’am. Have a great day!”

(I hang up and think nothing more of it. Three days later, a woman comes to the service desk.)

Me: “Hi, how can I help you?”

Customer: “I’m here to pick up photos.”

Me: “For whom?”

(She gives me one first name and two different last names which both start with the same letter. I grab my photo records and check for the last names she gave me. They’re not there. Just in case I missed a delivery on one of my days off, I open the cabinet where we keep the photos and look under the last names she gave me. Nothing. I turn back to her with my photo list.)

Me: “When did you order them? Sometimes th–”

Customer: “I don’t know. It’s been so long.”

Me: “What was the name again?”

(She repeats the two names she gave me.)

Me: “Well, I have something for [Other Name]…”

(I think it’s a long shot — same first name, but different last name.)

Customer: *frustrated* “Yes! That’s it!”

Me: “Oh, okay!”

(I grab her photos from the cabinet.)

Me: “These haven’t been paid yet. I need your membership card.”

Customer: “Which ones are they? I had to go to [Other Location] to get them; it took so long.”

Me: “Let’s open it together.”

(I carefully open the envelope and remove a small canvas and cardstock frame.)

Customer: “Oh, I’ll take that one.”

Me: “Okay, I need your membership card.”

(She thrusts her card at me and starts shifting impatiently, talking about how she came here with her dad several times and we never had her order. As I apologize for the inconvenience, I scan her membership card and the barcode on her photo envelope. As I do so, I notice the name on her card matches her photo order.)

Me: “Oh, you know, when you place an order, the name on it will match your membership. If you don’t change your name with us when you legally change it, it won’t update on your card or your orders. You know, that might be why we couldn’t find it before. But I’m sure we called you. In fact, I know I left a few messages…”

(Her expression darkens immediately.)

Customer: “I don’t see why you’re being so rude!”

Me: “I’m sorry? I’m not trying to be ru—”

Customer: “Yes, you are!”

Me: “Oh, no, ma’am, I’m definitely not trying to be rude. I was just—”

Customer: “No! You’re being rude!”

Me: “I— I’m sorry?”

Customer: “We tried! And you said! My mother had cancer!”

(Stunned, I try not to anger her further. I hand her the receipt for her transaction and she tries to snatch it from my hand, twice.)

Me: “I hope your mother recovers.”

(She yanked her shopping cart back toward herself and stormed away, still fuming. To be honest, I was freaking out a little when she left. Customer complaints do lose people jobs for no good reason, after all!)

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Tiptoe Through The Blueberries, With Me

, , , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(I’m working in the produce department at our local supermarket when a customer spills several containers of blueberries in the aisle. I’m guarding the aisle while my coworker goes to grab a broom and dustpan. The produce section basically has two aisles with produce displays in between, so there is an easy way to go around the blueberry mess. [Customer #1] approaches me, pushing a shopping cart.)

Me: “We have a bit of a mess right here. If you could just go around–“

Customer #1: “Oh, don’t worry. I’ll be careful!” 

(The customer then proceeds to shove past me and picks up the back of the cart so only the first two wheels are on the ground, and then tip-toes THROUGH the mess of blueberries on the floor, squishing and smearing the mess further as she goes.)

Me: “Or you could do that…”

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Five Reasons To Say No

, , , , | Right | September 11, 2019

(I am selling a secondhand hard drive for $20. This is a very reasonable price as most people sell the same item for $25 or more around here. Someone messages me:)

Buyer: “5.”

(Not $5, not 5:00 pm, not a greeting, or any other indicator.)

Me: “5?”

Buyer: “Yup.”

Me: “Sorry, what do you mean, ‘5’?”

Buyer: “For the hard drive.”

Me: “Do you mean five dollars?”

Buyer: “Yup.”

Me: “Sorry, it’s $20. If you’re willing to pay that much I can give it to you; otherwise, I’ll find someone who is willing.”

Buyer: “A 1-terabyte secondhand drive for $20? F****** rip off.”

Me: “I personally haven’t seen anyone selling a 1-terabyte hard-drive for $5 before, but if they are, feel free to buy one. I’m selling mine for $20.”

Buyer: “If you can’t handle the d*** price, I’m not paying more than what they are. F****** simple. I know my prices, bye.”

(I know he’s not going to cooperate, so I say:)

Me: “I have buyers willing to be polite and negotiate to pay a reasonable price, so I am going to terminate this conversation now. Thank you. Also, beginning the conversation with the number ‘5’ and no greeting or quantifier of what you mean by that does not make me want to negotiate with you since, frankly, that’s extremely rude.”

(He then sends one more message before blocking me:)

Buyer: “Get f***ed.”

(Then, he gave me my only negative seller review. I later sold the product for $25.)

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